OBITUARY

Gottfried Koch

May 4, 1928October 16, 2020

Gottfried Koch (92) passed away peacefully at his home Friday, October 16, 2020. He was born in Selsingen, Germany, the youngest in the family. At the age of 15 he was drafted into the Air Force along with his fellow classmates during the last years of WWII. At 17 he was a POW held in a US camp near Utah Beach in Foucarville, France. He had been listed as MIA, so his parents were overwhelmed when he walked into their home after his release. He returned to school and finished his education before moving to Bremen where he started his career in 1949 in the cotton business. In 1952 he was hired by Hohenberg Bros. Company in Memphis, TN for two years as a code clerk. He returned to Germany to marry Heidi, the love of his life. They moved to Memphis in 1955 with a job waiting for him at Hohenberg Bros. (later Cargill Cotton, Inc.) and remained with them working in export until retirement in 1993 as Sr. Vice President. Gottfried traveled the world in his job, mostly Southeast Asia, and loved experiencing new places, cultures, people, traditions and cuisine.

Gottfried and Heidi raised four children and took them camping on summer vacations. They introduced them to Germany and their extended family. Gottfried loved music, especially classical. He took piano lessons from age 5, and played by ear. He was the life of the party when he entertained friends and family and often there were sing-alongs. He and Heidi enjoyed gardening, playing games, swimming in their pool the entire season, traveling to many of our National Parks where they hiked and camped as often as possible. He loved to read and also to read to his six grandchildren when they were small. He was always interested in their lives. Gottfried was a loving, protective and supportive father. He was a good friend, mentor and neighbor. Heidi and he lived in their forever home for over 40 years. He was a charter member of Messiah Lutheran Church.

He was preceded in death by Heidi in 2017. He leaves, Walter Koch (Flavia Borellini) Foster City, CA; Susi Edwards (Mark) of Memphis, TN; Cornelia Koch of Alpharetta, GA; Sabine (Steve) Capilitan, Hackettstown, NJ; grandchildren Martin Koch, Marina Koch, Savannah Edwards, Matthew Edwards, Zachary Capilitan and Hayley Capilitan.

A private graveside will be held at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, 3700 N. Germantown Parkway Bartlett, TN 38133. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be given to: Messiah Lutheran Church, 3743 Austin Peay Hwy., Memphis, TN 38128; National Park Service - www.nps.gov; or a charity of your choosing.

  • FAMILY

  • Heidi Koch, Wife (deceased)
  • He leaves behind, Walter Koch (Flavia Borellini) Foster City, CA; Susi Edwards (Mark) of Memphis, TN; Cornelia Koch of Alpharetta, GA; Sabine (Steve) Capilitan, Hackettstown, NJ; grandchildren Martin Koch, Marina Koch, Savannah Edwards, Matthew Edwards, Zachary Capilitan and Hayley Capilitan to cherish his memory.

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